Hello November.  
I realized today that I never posted during the entire month of October.  I guess that means it flew by!  Here is some of what’s been going on with us…

Our oldest son is playing football again this year.  I absolutely LOVE it.  I love the game, love the kids, love the families and camaraderie.  He’s an inside linebacker if that means anything to any of you football fans out there.  He’s tall (6’1”) and thin (150) which makes me a bit nervous, especially when he’s going up against guys who are significantly bigger than he is.  I try not to express my concern in front of him, because he is in heaven playing football.  He never complains about the long practices, playing in the heat or the fact that he has been on the field everyday since June working hard just to play 10 games.  None of that matters to him, because he loves his sport.  As a mom I realize how quickly the time passes and that after the next 2 games, he will officially be ½ way through is high school football career.  
It makes me want to cry.

Our son is #48, he was a captain for the first home game this year.

Also this month we watched our younger son perform with this middle school choir.  He didn’t really want to join choir, but with the major cut backs to public schools there are very few electives for kids.  And choir was really the only choice.  As it turns out, he’s happy with the decision I he made.  He has another performance tonight and I’m looking forward to hearing them sing again.  They aren’t too shabby!

One of my dearest friends asked me to help her by loaning her my face so she could practice an elaborate Halloween makeup she had been planning for her daughter.  I was happy to oblige and the end result was spooky~

Too bad this was more than a week before Halloween and my mother-in-law was at my house when I pulled in the driveway.  I’m just certain she thinks I’ve joined some sort of Satanist cult.

We watched some baseball.  It was good, but not nearly as exciting to me as last year when our San Francisco Giants won.  I’m happy for the Cardinals, I was rooting for them, but they’re just not the 
Orange & Black.

Finally we did a little tricky treaty.  The end of that era may drawing nearer for our family.  Our youngest dressed up as a ghost this year and went out with some friends.  Turns out it was abnormally warm that night in our neck of the woods so the actual costume came off pretty quickly into the trick or treat journey which meant he was just a random kid begging for candy door to door.  Awesome!  I wasn’t with him and learned of this later so I hold no responsibility. 
(I have no pictures of this because my kids are big)

Our older guy was dropped off at his buddy’s house to ‘hang out’ on Halloween.  There was a bit of candy passing out but mostly I think they scurried around the neighborhood on a golf cart trying to pick up chicks.  When we arrived to take him home they had two girls on the back of that golf cart.  Trick? Or treat? I hope neither.

That’s it friends, our month in a nutshell. 

Happy November to you!




It's Fall?

Well it's supposed to be fall, but it feels more like summer around here.  Today's high is 95!  UGH ~ why is it that summer hits us just when I'm ready for cooler weather and warmer food?  Always the way....so I'm trying to enjoy it in my white pants and tank top.  BUT ~ I've already started decorating for fall....I bought a whole mess of pumpkins on Saturday and pulled out everything orange and leafy from the attic. The hubs even helped me collect pinecones for our front porch decor {awwww, he's sweet}. I promise to post pictures as soon as it's all done.  I'm kinda mid stream right now.  

We're on a hunt right now for a {drum roll please}.....

An airstream trailer!  

Something older ~ hopefully either of our birth years.  It doesn't have to be spiffed up and perfect because we think that will be the fun part.  Really we're looking for something that's been well cared for and is the right price.  We'll shine it up and make it our own.  I don't know how much "camping" we'll do.  It might be parked in our back yard as a kitschy guest house....we'll see how things turn out.

And also on my mind right this second is my handbag.  I bought a Gucci purse last year some time.  It was a big deal for me because I love Gucci, but always, always, ALWAYS hesitate based on price.  Last year I did it.  I bought a black Italian leather handbag with gold hardware.  It's a boho style with a rounded square bottom.  

I think it's an older version of this bag, and all black, without the signature stripes.  So not like this at all....

It goes with anything and I just knew it would last a lifetime which was why I bought it.  Well ~ today the hardware on one of the straps broke.  It BORKE!  I called and it seems as if they'll be able to repair it which was a relief, and likely part of the high price.  But I'm still a bit sad.  You know how you get connected to a purse and it's like a friend.  You know where all your do-daws fit and you can reach in blindly to find things?  I guess I'll have to part with my friend for a little bit while she gets repaired.  
Hopefully it won't be too long.

That's all for now.
Happy Fall ~ if it feels like Fall where you are.
If not, Happy Indian Summer!




Sometimes it seems like life is good.  Great even!  We wander through our days without a care in the world.  Happiness and joy seem to be the primary emotions in our repertoire of feelings.  Even the bad things that sneak in aren't that bad.  Each day is greeted with excitement and a smile for what it may bring.
And then there are other times.  Darker, more difficult times.  Times when we wonder where the happiness and joy went and why it's been gone for so long.  Days when it feels as if it's hard to breath because of the weight of the stress you're carrying and the day is greeted with fear of what might come your way next.

Unfortunately, I'm in one of those dark times.  I've not really ever experienced something this profound and long lasting.  In the past I've been busy and stressed.  Worried about tasks on my list that I hadn't yet completed but needed to be finished urgently.  Piled too much on my plate leaving me juggling too many things at once and needing to be everywhere at the same time.  What I would consider typical of a busy mom who owns her own business and runs a home.

But this is different.  This is a stress I've never known.  These feelings are completely unfamiliar to me and it seems like I don't have the tools to handle them, which is also frightening.  So many of the things happening in our life are out of our control.  Decisions not yet made by people who don't really know or understand us, seem to have our lives on hold right now.  

I know, and the hubs reminds me, that we can only control what we can, and deal with all other things as they come.  But it's hard.  I find my mind so overactive that I don't sleep at night because I can't force my brain to turn OFF!  Sometimes it seems like the list I have going is so big and daunting that I don't even know where to start which means I don't start.  I just walk away from it and hope I'll have a better understanding the next day.  

I know what's going on in my life will be over eventually and that it's part of owning a small business, the nature of our economy right now, and having children who, despite the guidance we give them, are still their own people and will make mistakes.  I also know that I'm blessed beyond belief because we're healthy and safe and have each other.  But I could really use some joy right now.  




Holy Missoni Target!

Have you heard?  
Of Course you've heard ~ Missoni did a line for Target and it was in stores TO Day.  
If you haven't been, don't bother.  It's all gone.  

Like the rest of the country, I've seen the commercials and have been looking forward to the launch dates.  So this morning after I dropped my kiddos at school I ran over there to chiggity check things out.  {Back story ~ I live in Napa and even though our town isn't very big, we have 2 Tarjays.  The one near my house is small but it's where I normally go because of proximity & convenience even though the other T to the Arget is bigger and has a much larger selection.}  

Today, I drove to Big Target thinking they would have the full Missoni line.  As I was walking in, I spotted 2 friends walking out of the store with FULL carts.  I jokingly asked if they'd cleaned out the store and they said..."We didn't, but it's all GONE!!!"

I thought they were kidding.  I was wrong.  Not a joke.  They shooed my away and rushed me into the store to give me the best chance of finding anything that might be left.  I took their cue and HUSTLED!

I ended up finding several items and throwing anything I liked into my cart thinking I could try things on at home and return them if need be.  

The store was CRAZY!  It was full of women in their 20s and 30s wearing workout clothes, big sunglasses, and ponytails grabbing everything in sight.  Literally pushing one cart and pulling another.  THOUSANDS of dollars worth of discount designer couture.  The feeling of the frenzy only reenforced my need to gather all things Missoni!  I was just as insane as the rest of 'em thinking "Certainly I need every scarf on the shelf.  I can't leave anything behind!"

As I was checking out I noticed an employee walking with a hand bag and she placed it on the display.  I told my cashier to hold on so I could run over there and grab it.  As I headed there, my eye on the bag, an old lady saw me coming and shot her cart in between me and the one and only hand bag!  Now, I'm a bargain shopper, and in a frenzied state of Missoni Mania ~ but I'm still a lady so I didn't bum rush the old broad, knock her down and snatch that bag outta her hand.  Even though the thought may have crossed my mind...

Looks like it was just as difficult to buy Missoni online.

I know I went overboard ~ and I'll try on my items and return what I don't love.  I just felt so much pressure to buy so it wouldn't be gone!


An Anniversary

Just over a year ago my grandmother passed away.  
We had known for nearly two weeks that the end was near and had held vigil at her bedside 24 hours a day.  We sang songs with her, listened to opera, watched baseball, we talked to her and shared memories with her.  There were countless kisses and hugs given to her.  
We said I love you as often as possible.  My mother even prayed the Rosary for her every day -- I had never seen my mother pray before those two weeks.  And even though my grandmother's room was full more than it was empty during those days, she left us while only my mom and dad were with her.  

You think you're ready when you're given time to process the inevitable.  
I read {although reluctantly} the pamphlet given to our family by hospice.  
I had had my time alone with my grams and said goodbye to her every time I left her side.  
I had forgiven her of the ugliness we had in our past and I asked her to forgive me.  
Thanked her for the love and devotion she had given to me over my lifetime.  
The care she gave me when nobody else could.  
But what I learned when I answered my phone and heard the news of her passing, 
was that no amount of preparation will alleviate or minimize the heartbreak that comes from the loss of a loved one.

Sunday marked one year.  
It was a difficult day for me, and if I'm being honest, it had been a hard 
2 weeks leading up to the anniversary.  
I miss her so much, I think of her every day and my heart aches, still, in a way I've never known.



House of fifty

I'm sure you all have heard that the 2nd issue of the House of Fifty e-zine is live.  
I have just scanned through the first few pages
{do you do that? Scan first and read second when you get a magazine?} 
anyway, I had to take a break to share how fabulous it is. 
You must go here and look at the prettiness


I've been neglecting my blog

I feel so badly about not paying enough attention to my little blog ~ and my few followers.  It's been a little hectic at our house lately, and it doesn't seem like the end is anywhere near.  So, I wanted to pop in and give a quick update about my 
life over the last couple of weeks..

During my last post I talked about the possibility I might have a chance at getting a bib for the ever popular Nike Women's {half} Marathon.....Well, I got in!  
I'm not sure if that exclamation point represents fear or excitment.  
Either way, I have very little time to prep for 13.1 miles and I still have not started.  
I hate me

Our numero uno son {as in first born, not favorite} is playing his 2nd year of high school football {which I LOVE}.  And this year we're hosting the team/family 
dinner at our house ~ tomorrow.  And that means we've spent a 
considerable amount of time fluffing and sprucing things up around our house.  
You know how a party forces you to get your act together!  
I think we're pretty well set....if the dog gone rental company would show up already!!

On Sunday, we are leaving for our summer vacation.  Nothing big and fancy this year, but we are all looking forward to it.  Everybody say it with me "ROAD TRIP!!!"

We are headed down the California Coast and spending time in Santa Barbara, 
San Luis Obispo and Carmel.  We're traveling with dear friends and their kids, 
and we always have a great time together.  
This will be no exception. 

When we get home both kids will have 2 separate orientations on 2 different days, school shopping, football practice, and making time to visit the fair 
before the kids head back to school on 8/17.  
Can you believe it?!?  
It's here....the start of school....just. like. that.

I promise to recap the party, our trip and my {half} marathon training as soon as I can.  

In the mean time, I hope you'll be enjoying the last dog days of Summer 
like I know we will be.

Love and hugs,



Last year some friends of mine participated in the Nike Women's {half} Marathon.  They asked me to join them, but I politely declined {it went something like "Are you effin' craZy?}.  Then I learned that you receive a silver Tiffany Necklace upon completion of the event ~ and my friends necklace was so cute {they can't be bought...must be earned.  Yada Yada} that I thought I would try and run the race this year.

Here's the deal ~ the Nike Women's {half} Marathon is super duper popular thus, 
difficult to enter.  So there's a random drawing in April and my name wasn't drawn. :-(
{said like Snooki from Jersey Shore.  Not that I watch that trash}  
Two dear friends did get in and have been forcing encouraging me 
to continue to try and somehow get into the race. 
Which leads me to today....

Our local running store has been given a few bibs by Nike 
and they're raffling them off.  
In order to "win" a spot, you have to enter the raffle daily for a week 
and at the end of the week, they'll draw names for each bib they have available to the.  Another drawing!  
The last one wasn't really in my favor and I'm not confident this one will be either.  
So, I went into the store today and completed my raffle form.  
I haven't totally decided if I'm hoping to get in or not.  
October 16th is right around the corner and let's face it, 
I haven't started training which means I have a LOT of work to do.  

Oh, and by the way ~ I'm not a runner.  
The farthest I've run is a 10k and I wanted strangle my "friends" at the end.  
Everything was going fine until I saw mile marker 2 which was especially disappointing because I thought I was nearly finished with the race.  
It wasn't pretty.

I'll keep you posted on my entry status...



Weekend WhirlWind

We had a jam packed weekend full of friends, laughs and a lotta wine!

Great friends, who live in Southern California, planned a weekend trip to 
San Francisco to celebrate her birthday.  
Because we don't get to see them very often {and we were invited :-)} we decided to join them for dinner on Friday night.  And rather than driving home from the City late, 
the hubs and I took the opportunity to book a room and spend the night!  
{read: Yippee! A night away!!!}

Brief back story -- in middle school I was part of a big clique.  
I know, cliques are B.A.D, but this one wasn't horrible.  
Oddly, the clique has stayed somewhat connected over the years.  
We all sort of knew what was going on in each other's lives because one person would talk to another and share information that would be passed on to yet another member 
of the former group.  Anyway ~ a principle member was married in Mexico last year which brought all of us back together again.  
So, the hubs and I shared a house in Mexico with 2 other former members 
of the clique and their spouses.  Which is when I met Shelly, who married Reed 
{former middle school clique mate}.  
We hit it off!  I absolutely LOVE her.  She is funny and funky, has great style and we share similar interests.  
The weekend trip to San Francisco was for Shelly's birthday.

We went to dinner at Asia SF, which is a restaurant staffed by transgendered servers who perform dance numbers throughout the meal.  
Food is so-so, but the staff is great!  
Very friendly {not like that} and so impressive.  It's really amazing how 
beautiful these ladies are.  
Shelly and I were feeling a bit insecure by the end of the night!!

{Me, Shelly and the hubs.   Not sure why I'm so shiny in this picture, 
hoping it was the flash}

After dinner we went to a few bars where a dance off may have been initiated, 
there might have been some karaoke singing and it's possible we saw a pirate.  
Because there is no photographic evidence it's hard to prove any of it.

The next day we said goodbye to Shelly and Reed, then popped into a dear friends Bridal Salon to say a quick congratulations on her 6th anniversary and race home 
just in time to change and get ready for an engagement party ~ 
which turned into a surprise wedding!

We danced the night away in celebration of this great couple and the commitment they made to each other in our presence.  As we get older, we are invited to fewer weddings....mostly because all our friends are married!  
{I imagine that will change once our kids begin getting married}
It's so nice to attend a wedding, it always reminds me of the vows I made to my hubs, 
and the importance they hold in our life.

Sunday we had a lazy morning and then started working ~ I was busy with office tasks and Jon was running around from house to house readying things for the upcoming week.

It was a Wonderful WhirlWind Weekend!  But it Wore me out!



Ten {10} Followers! (And a life lesson)

Oh my goodness!  

I was so shocked and thrilled when I logged into blogger today ~ my follower count had GROWN!  I know, I know....a successful blog has hundreds or thousands 
of followers {not 10} but for me it's an exponential increase and I'm excited!!  
You've made my day.

Thank You!

Onto the Life Lesson portion of this post....

We had a very FULL weekend, which I promise to detail soon.  But, because our weekend was so busy and the hubs and I were in a mad rush to leave the house on Friday, we tasked our oldest son with ordering pizza for dinner that night.  The hubs gave our #1 the phone, the phone number and his credit card and explained that after ordering the pizza, #1 would need to give the pizza guy our credit card number to pay for the pizza.  
Seems simple enough...

Well, I was racing around my room trying to finish getting ready when #1 strolled in holding the phone in one hand a credit card in the other.  
Here's how the convo went:

#1 - "Mom, I need to give them the credit card number."

Me - "Ok, go ahead."

#1 - "I need the number."

Me - "You have the number, it's on the card."

#1 - "I know, but which number do I give them?"

Me - "The whole string of digits on the front of the card IS the number!"

#1 - Leaned toward me trying to pass off the phone and credit card.

Me - "Uh-Uh!  Go ahead, you can do it.  Start at the beginning and move through to the end."

He managed to accurately give the number because the pizza was delivered 
and my kids ate dinner that night.

Oy!  At least it's now official....our oldest son {who will be 15 soon} can order a pizza for delivery and pay with a credit card over the phone.  
A life skill I'm certain will come in handy while he's in college.



Summer Snaps 4 {3 for me}

I believe I missed last week, which means this is week 3 for me 
whereas it's 4 for everyone else.

It was a great week....It seems like it flew by so quickly.  
I'm sure that's because we filled with lot's of FUN! 
{Or maybe it's because all the weeks blend together in the summer time}

1. I went shopping with a dear friend and we started the day with a Bloody Mary. 
{Clothes look better after a bloody mary}
2. My oldest son is a sandwich arteest.  He made this yummy dagwood.
3. This is how your wine looks right now...
4. A house near ours has about 10 goats and they're too cute for words.
5. I found a new dress to wear to a party this Saturday night.
6. A gorgeous rose I stopped to smell while on a walk with my littlest.  
Believe it or not, it's bright red in real life.
7. We decided to go to the Giants game at 3p on Sunday.  
First pitch was at 5:05.  We're spontaneous!
8. The hubs and a Panda fan-da.
9. Radishes we bought at the farmer's market.  Pretty sure I ate them all...
so yummy with a little lime.
10. Lou Seal stopped by our seats during the game.  He freaked out our little guy.

We've got a few fun things planned for this weekend 
and hopefully I'll remember to take pictures.


Fourth of July

I know. I know.  The fourth passed a LOOONNNGGG time ago, 
but I haven't posted since before that and so you're stuck with my 
red white and blue that's long overdue.  

For the previous two years we've been gone on the Fourth of July.  
It seems our  family vacation was scheduled to begin in early July which meant 
that we have been out of town.  This year we had planned to be away, but our older son decided not to do his best in math class thus requiring him to remediate during the summer....early July.  
All wouldn't be lost though, as we decided to shorten our trip from 1 week to 4 days and he would just have to miss one day of summer school.  
Well....then we were fortunate enough to begin a relationship with a new client who was planning her first arrival with us for July 1.  
That was that.  
Our vacay was officially postponed until August.

We found ourselves home for the holiday without any plans.  
While explaining this to my dear friend who lives on the Central Coast 
she suggested she and her family come to visit for the weekend.  
Great Idea!  

While they were here we got up early and headed to the flea market.  
Our friends had never been {we planned to take them there during their last visit in early June, but the stinkin' flea was closed due to rain when we arrived at the gate}.  
It was a beautiful day in Alameda with the City as the backdrop.  
Lots of fun stuff to scope out and we all came home with something special and a great price :-)

{here are some red, white and blues that caught my eye}

That night we headed to the local country club after dinner.  
Every year the club sets off fireworks on July 3rd.  I think the event is supposed to be for members only, but they open up the fairway and essentially the whole town shows up.  
People carry in dessert and wine, blankets and low chairs to sit on.

{They even sell glow necklaces!}

Groups of people play frisbee and toss footballs while waiting for the sun to set 
low enough for the show to begin.  We always run into friends and spend time chatting 
while the kids wonder around looking for buddies they haven't seen since school ended.  
It really feels as if you've been transported to another time....
like you've become part of a Norman Rockwell painting.  
To top it all off the fireworks are always great and seem to last forever! 
It's Americana at it's best and one of my favorite ways to celebrate. 
{When we're in town that is!}

{The long walk back to the car after the fireworks}

{Cool old car decorated for the day}

We spent the rest of the weekend eating yummy food, watching baseball, 
going to the movies and playing games in the pool.  
I'm still hearing "Marco?"... "Polo!"

Even though our plans changed {twice} and we weren't on vacation for the holiday, 
we had a fabulous time with good friends.  
Isn't it great when things work out that way?



Summer Snaps 2

It was a busy week for us, filled with celebrations and sunshine.

1. We spent time by the pool.  Oddly, my boys don't spend much time in our pool.  
I'm sure it has something to do with accessibility equaling lack of interest.  
But I love it ~ I grab a book, iced tea and some sunscreen and head outside.

2. This little cutie turned 1 year older and we celebrated by...

3. having hamburgers for lunch {his choice} and we went to see Super 8 as a family.  
{Side note: I loved Super 8.  It was a great movie full of action and suspense.  I was worried about it being too scary for our Birthday Boy but after talking to a friend who had seen it I felt more at ease.  Our youngest is 11 and I'm not sure it would be appropriate for kids younger than that.  It was similar to Goonies, Stand By Me, or ET}

4. I HAD to take a picture of this yellow rose.  
It was unbelievably beautiful and the smell was intoxicating. 

5. NASCAR came to our area -- Sonoma to be precise.  It never fails, the hubs and I always seem to head that way over NASCAR weekend when that little, two lane country road is packed with 40,000 cars.  Lucky for us, we didn't get slowed down too much.

6. This palm tree looks a bit like a living firework to me 
and reminded me that the 4th is just days away!

7, 8 & 9. I went to a hotel/country club in Calistoga called Solage 
to celebrate the engagement of one of our friends.  
It could not have been a more perfect day full of cocktails, sunshine, 
laughs and chats.  Just fabulous!

I am just loving this linky party hosted by Starfish Blog! It is reminding me of
how fun our summer has been so far, even though the days
can seem so monotonous sometimes.  Head over to her blog and take a look 
at all the other fun snapshots.


PS I'm also linking up here:

life rearranged

PPS ~ I've got a post coming up with before and afters of my oldest son's room. 
So stay tuned for that.


Well Dang It

My youngest has a birthday tomorrow.  
I'm a slacker and have nothing planned.  
Well, not "nothing", just not a friend party.  

Here's the deal....my little guy and I talked about his friend party several weeks ago and decided on a movie date to see Cars 2. 

Then back to our house where we would do cake and presents.  
And he could have a few buddies sleep over.  


He must have mentioned it to a "friend" at school because the next day he came home explaining that he didn't like that plan anymore and that Cars 2 is a "baby movie". 


The last several years we've done pool parties at our house.  
They're great ~ he has fun.  
His buddies have fun.  
But, I thought it would be nice to change things up a bit.  
Well, after the "baby movie" fiasco conversation I sorta, kinda let party planning fall apart.  
Which brings me to the real problem...

I'm a loser Mother who should have her 
mothering license revoked!  
{Lucky for me they let any old boob have a baby so there's no chance of losing my license.}

What kind of mother lets her child go friend-birthday-party-less?!?

Tomorrow we will go to a movie with his older brother.  Have the lunch of his choice and a special dinner with cake and ice cream.  
Hoping this will tide him over 'til I can get that friend birthday party going.

In the mean time, I'll be online searching for boy party inspiration for the tricky "I'm not a baby" but "You're not a teenager either" age.

Wish me luck....